Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Who's Afraid of Ghosts?

A Seemingly Benign Ghost

Afraid of Ghosts? Sissy!

Superhuman and other-worldly entities are not exactly rare; in fact, they are the stuff of legend. From the Bogey Monster under the bed to Casper the Friendly Ghost, parents use not-so-human phantasms to keep children in line. Of course, there IS the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and such, but the stories that I cannot erase from my too-fertile imagination are usually ghostly apparitions, and they did a fine job of either scaring or entertaining (if the lights were on) me for years. But then...there was supposedly the ultimate real-life-not-fiction ghost: one that could, in reality, send a person to the hospital, consume him or her with fire and lead to (probably) an untimely death if one was not careful enough. Such is the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, a.k.a. the "ghost pepper," purportedly the hottest thing this side of Dante's imagination. But until today, it was merely the stuff of monsters-under-the-bed late night stories.
Peppers are rated by something called the Scoville Heat Unit, and there is definitely a low end and a high end to the scale. Included, of course, are some familiar names: jalapeno and habanero. These are more than thermal-like for most people, but for the truly hardy or foolish, there is the ghost pepper. At 400 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper and four times hotter than a habanero, this is the "seven-layers-of-hell-rolled-into-one" granddaddy of all hot peppers. On a Scoville scale in which most peppers reach 500 or so, this baby is rated at over 1 MILLION units of heat...and I have one.
Somebody at the local farmer's market was selling peppers today; I like spicy food but watched in amazement as an individual bought a 5-gallon bucket full of habanero peppers and a few of the ghost peppers as well. His reasoning for the purchase (though not the volume, I suspect)? Some guys in his Sunday School class thought they were tough enough to eat them. Well, there's a lesson coming up about hellfire and brimstone, I can imagine.
As much as I wanted to walk away a wiser person, I could not help buying one of the hottest peppers known to man. Whether or not I will eat it remains to be seen. Perhaps I can invite the neighbors over for dinner; they just sold their house and are moving anyway.
How much can it hurt?


At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

double dare you. and then you can write about it. so i can live vicariously through your suffering.


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